NVIDIA Provides COVID-19 Researchers Free Access to Genome-Sequencing Software

In response to the current pandemic, NVIDIA is sharing tools with researchers that can accelerate their efforts to understand the novel coronavirus and help inform a response.NVIDIA has announced that it is providing a free 90-day license to Parabricks to any researcher in the worldwide effort to fight the novel coronavirus. Based on the well-known Genome Analysis Toolkit, Parabricks uses GPUs to accelerate by as much as 50x the analysis of sequence data.

The announcement was made in a NVIDIA blog post by Kimberly Powell.

Accelerating science has been part of NVIDIA’s core mission. The Parabricks team joined NVIDIA in December, providing the latest tool for that work.  According to NVIDIA, it can reduce the time for variant calling on a whole human genome from days to less than an hour on a single server. And, given the spread of the pandemic, getting results in hours versus days could have an extraordinary impact on understanding the virus’s evolution and the development of vaccines.

Researchers are sequencing both the novel coronavirus and the genomes of people afflicted with COVID-19 to understand, among other things, the spread of the disease and who is most affected. But analyzing genomic sequences takes time and computing muscle.

According to NVIDIA, researchers working with Oxford Nanopore long-read data, a repository of GPU-accelerated tools is available on GitHub. In addition, the following applications already have NVIDIA GPU acceleration built in: Medaka, Racon, Raven, Reticulatus, Unicycler.